COMEDY PREVIEW Blue Grassy Knoll And Buster Keaton On The Big
Comedy, theatre, music, film . . . this intriguing prospect from Blue Grassy Knoll is distinctly hard to categorise. ’I think that’s why it’s had such a wide appeal,’ says band member Daniel Witton. ’It’s almost too much to take in at once.’ The basic premise is simple enough: write scores for Buster Keaton's films Sherlock Junior and Cops, and then perform them. However, these five supremely talented musiCians have turned it Into an amazing multimedia experience which has won them a cult following In their native Australia.
Using the film as their conductor, they sit faCIng the screen and pick up their cues from there, a method which allows their unique blend of musical styles, which includes bluegrass and zydeco, to compliment Keaton's films perfectly. Add to this a healthy dose of cabaret-style theatrical entertainment from the band and you have a winning formula that Keaton himself would have approved of. (Kirsty Knaggs)
a Blue Grassy Knoll And Buster Keaton On The Big Screen! (Fringe) Blue Grassy Knoll, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 70- 74 Aug. 6.30pm; l7—27Aug, 70pm, £9/E8 (EB/F. 7).
theatre - dance - comedy
COMEDY PREVIEW Simply Barbra
Steven Brinberg is Barbra Streisand. After impersonating her for five years, this is hardly surprismg, and he has refined his act to such an extent that it’s been said he does it better than the great lady herself. It's not all Singing either; the show is a constantly
evolving insight into the superstar's life,
including up-to-the-minute' news and gossip, and impersonations of various other celebrities who move in her Circle.
’I think Barbra would appreciate the show,’ Steven says. ’It's not a garish interpretation, although I do gently make fun of her. I’m obVIously a big, big, Barbra fan.’ 80, is it a show jUSI for those who share this enthuSIasm for Babs? 'Oh no,’ insists Steven ’As long as you know who she is, you’ll get something out of it ' (KITSIy Knaggs)
3 Simply Barbra (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 7-30 Aug (not 70, 24) 6.30pm, £8 50/E8 (F7 50/F 7) Previews 5-6 Aug, £4,
THEATRE PREVIEW East
’Fuck off, thou discharge from thy mother's womb, before With honed and sweetened razor, I do trouble to remove thy balls from thee'
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A play by RAY HERMAN
GEORGE SOUARE THEATRE
and the NYT COMPANY CHAPlAINCY CENTRE
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NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE OF GREAT BRITAIN IN EDINBURGH
based on a novel by HORACE MCCOY
7-30 AUGUST 1999 TICKETS 8131 662 8749 r,
A new play devised by lAURlE SANSOM
14-39 AUGUST 1999 TICKETS OIRI 662 8882
Not the kind of dialogue you'd expect from a play set In 705, working-class London, but then its writer and director, Steven Berkoff, is anything but predictable. ’It was an exercise in how far one can go, an exploration of taboo-breaking, something everyone can identify With.’ Berkoff himself has no doubts that East, a classic of 70s theatre, can still pack the punches that first electrified audiences a quarter of a century ago: ’I’ve upped It In terms of performance, turned It up a bit so Its got more revs. I think it's stronger and more powerful than ever.’ To accusations of pure shock tactics In his plays, Berkoff replies: ’We don't use the word "fuck" unless we mean it, emotionally, mu5Ically and aesthetically. You've got to handle it like gelignite' (Ollie Lassman)
a Fast (Fringe) Stephen Berkolf's East, Pleasance ( Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 7 30pm, £9.50/E9 (£8).
THEATRE PREVIEW Macbeth
Do strange Curses haunt Shakespeare’s 'Scottish Play'? Don't ask Frantic Redhead productions who, followmg a recent accident suffered by their preVIous lead actor, have fended off supernatural adverSIty by re-casting Jonny Wilson In the title role.
In an imaginative piece of staging, the show begins at Greyfriars Kirk Yard before weaVIng its way through the maze of wynds and closes off Edinburgh's Royal Mile. With Its history of ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump In the night, the Old Town is an ideal location for Macbeth to play out the Witches’ predictions.
Director/prodUCer Ginger Perkins Suggests that the staging ensures a greater degree of Intimacy. 'I tell the audience to get as close as they want. They Will be in touching distance of the actors ' With tickets limited to 40 per night, you'll need to be OUIck to catch this sell-out 1998 show And Jonny, beware of old women With warts on their nose! (DaVIe Archibald)
3% Macbeth (Fringe) Frantic Rec/head. Greylriars Kirk Yard ( Venue 99) 225 5366. 8-30 Aug (not 74, 27, 23-24) 6.40pm, £6 (£5).
THEATRE PREVIEW Kaddish
On a recent trip to Poland, director Ashley Barnes found himself at AUSCthIZ. His ’gut reaction’ to what he experienced there has gradually become Kaddish (the JeWIsh prayer for the dead). Though about the fate of the Jews, Barnes is qwck to point out that this is simply the story of ’ordinary peOple who died in their millions,‘ (no prizes for recognising some depressing parallels In Europe’s more recent history). With Dead Earnest Theatre, Barnes has set out not only to mourn those dead but to celebrate their Culture.
EChOIng the more Visual style of Eastern European Theatre, Kaddish doesn't Just rely on text but uses music, dance and song. There Is also a healthy dose of humour, though Barnes is keen to dispel any comparisons With the recent bout of lucrative Holocaust ’entertainment’. Kaddish promises to be more of an experience — 'music and spectacle’, assures Barnes, ’but this is not a rib- tickler.' (Gowan Calder)
e Kaddish (Fringe) Dead Earnest, Hill Street (Venue 4 7) 226 (5522, 7-30 Aug (not 79) 7.45pm, £6 (£5),
COMEDY PREVIEW Parsons And Naylor
Very often, Fringe comedy acts of many years standing WlII begin to diminish in popularity, there being a natural tendency in audiences toward comic-fatigue, even in relation to the highest quality acts. This, though, is not the case with Parsons And Naylor, whose act has been reInVIgorated by a recent tour of Australia, where they filled houses all over the country. Their return to the Fringe this year COIncides with a reswgence In popularity WhiCh Naylor attributes to changes in political climate. ’In the 805,’ he remarks, ’there were all sorts of IndIVIdual stand-up acts — it was all geared to “me”. We played venues where they only had one microphone — I'm not Ioking. These days things are more about sharing, and people are Willing to accept a double act again.’ Parsons
Full throttle: East